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International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS): “Understanding complex plant traits using computational and evolutionary approaches”

10+ Fully Funded PhD Student Positions in the Computational & Experimental Plant Sciences


The International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS) on Understanding Complex Plant Traits using Computational and Evolutionary Approaches is a local collaboration between the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research (MPIPZ) and the Universities in Cologne and Düsseldorf, Germany. The IMPRS was established in 2002 and offers an international PhD programme in English. Students are closely supervised by an advisory committee, receive training in professional skills and are supported to share their scientific insights.


The mission of our IMPRS is to study fundamental biological processes in plants and to create knowledge and material that can empower innovative plant breeding. More than 30 research groups study regulatory networks controlling fundamental traits such as reproductive development, organ geometry and growth, innate immunity and microbiome effects on plant performance. They apply and develop a broad range of interdisciplinary technologies ranging from genetics and genomics to structural biochemistry, advanced imaging and computational modelling in established and novel model species. All available projects are detailed at where applicants can also find more information about the host groups.


You are a highly qualified and motivated student from any nationality and hold, or expect to hold, a Master’s degree in a related subject. You have a proved track record of academic and research excellence and are fluent in written and spoken English.


We provide an excellent, international and interdisciplinary research environment with state-of-the-art facilities and a renowned faculty. Positions are fully funded for 3 years with possible extension. We are committed to increasing the number of individuals with disabilities in the workforce and encourage applications from such qualified individuals. Further, we seek to increase the number of women in those areas where they are underrepresented and therefore explicitly encourage women to apply.


  • Apply online by November 16th 2020 at
  • Shortlisted applicants will be invited for interviews on February 22-25th 2021
  • Selected applicants will start the PhD between summer and October 1st 2021


  • Dr. Stephan Wagner (IMPRS co-ordinator) at
  • Find more information at

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